Right now there are 5 boxes with growing vegetables, but next year the hope is that a half-acre behind LCOH will be cleared of trees, garden beds will be built, and the soil prepared for seeds. Several people have been working hard and getting their hands dirty cutting down trees and hauling brush to clear the garden area. With each load of brush hauled away the space where the garden will grow in 2016 and beyond becomes more visible.
This fall when the garden plots are put to bed, gardening will continue in the form of planning and preparing for the next season. Gardening never really stops. It just moves into a new season with new and different tasks. One task will be making a master plan for the garden plot itself. Another task will be deciding what to plant, where to plant, and when to plant. Other tasks will be reaching out into the community to tell the story of this garden and to invite others to be collaborative partners.
The vision behind the Harvest of Hope garden is that it will become a community collaborative effort shaped by anyone interested in fighting hunger in our community. We hope Lutherans from other communities will be our partners; we hope neighbors from Turnagain and Spenard will be our partners; we hope mobile food pantry shoppers will be our partners. The Holy Spirit is nudging this garden vision along, but it will take all kinds of people's time, talents, and gifts to build it.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about how the body of Christ is comprised of many members and only functions as a whole because each member has different gifts. The same could be said for the Harvest of Hope memorial garden. For this ministry to thrive there are a variety of gifts needed: some sowers, some waterers, some planners, some builders, some leaders, some organizers.
There are roles for those who want to get their hands dirty and there are roles for those don't. There is need for those who can weed and water. There is need for those who can create the vision and invite others to be a part of it. There is need for those who can pray and watch things grow. This is the time when we are planting not only the first seeds of beets, lettuce, and carrots, but we are also planting seeds of ideas and hopes for the garden; the more variety, the greater and richer the harvest will be!
Who do you know that might be interested in sharing their gifts in the garden?
How might you share your gifts in the garden?
Who might you tell about the garden?
The garden is a Memorial Garden, a garden of benevolence, a garden of love. It is a gift to our community from the God of Love, Jesus the Christ. The first “seeds” for our garden have come from members of the congregation and a designation from the congregation’s memorial funds. These seeds have brought us to the beginning of a journey that will last for many years. Guided by the Holy Spirit we will plow forth until row upon row of our work is accomplished and our community is better nourished. The Lord invites you all to be part of His work on earth strengthening and feeding His children. The garden is made possible by generous donations from the community, and grants from the Alaska Food Policy Council through the Municipality of Anchorage, the Alaska Women's Giving Circle, generous support by the congregation of Lutheran Church of Hope, and support from the Alaska Synod of the ELCA.